Cloud Computing and Healthcare

Cloud Computing and Healthcare

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4683-4.ch011
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This chapter discusses the adoption of cloud computing in healthcare. First, the advantages are explored; then, the disadvantages, such as data security issues that still limit the diffusion of cloud computing in this sector, are also explored. In addition, the Vitaever® Cloud product, developed by the Italian company Nethical S.r.l., is detailed and presented as a case study with reference to homecare. Finally, the intersection of cloud computing with mobile technologies for providing advanced healthcare services is investigated.
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2. Cloud Computing For Healthcare

In the traditional healthcare systems, medical records are on paper and therefore their “use” is very limited. An effective and efficient collaboration as well as information sharing among organizations, practitioners and specialists cannot be achieved.

Nowadays, many healthcare organizations are adopting electronic medical record systems. In the following, the main concepts are introduced:

  • Electronic Medical Record (EMR): Represents the legal documentation managed and owned by a healthcare organization. It basically aims to describe what happened to a patient during an encounter. It contains information that can be shared among laboratories and staff that belong to the organization;

  • Electronic Health Record (EHR): Integrates data and information generated from the different healthcare organizations involved in the patient’s care. It contains information that can be shared among the authorized stakeholders and clinicians and the patient himself/herself;

  • Personal Health Record (PHR): Denotes the health documentation managed and populated by an individual. It aims to give a comprehensive view on the health and medical history of an individual. Data is gathered from different sources (EHRs and EMRs) and it is accessible to only those have permissions.

It could be extremely complex to share medical information among different organizations. However, data aggregation becomes a big concern especially in the presence of patients that have different health providers.

A cloud platform supports healthcare not only in terms of cost savings but also in efficiently sharing medical information. Cloud computing provides a centralized platform in order to access data, get information, analyze clinical reports, etc. Then, more accurate diagnosis can be made.

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